Wow – this is an EPIC book. I mean that in whatever way you want to take it. The book is based around a fictional novel from Ancient Greece, which is based on real characters and stories from actual ancient Greek writings. Each chapter begins with a reading from the cloud cuckoo land story and then follows a set of characters from different periods of history (and the future) for whom the book plays a meaningful part in their lives (it reminds me a bit of ‘The People of the Book’ by Geraldine Brooks). All the stories were gripping and I felt connections with all the characters – the historical fiction parts were really interesting, the modern day story lines had lots of contemporary relevance with climate change issues, and I was blown away by the futuristic story of a girl on an ‘ark’ space ship fleeing a destroyed Earth and seeking a new home.
I was stunned by the ending of the book, and full of unanswered questions (although kind of in a good way?). Anthony Doerr is such a great writer!